A Unique Blog Hop!

Happy Labor Day to those of you who are here in the USA!  I’m using the day to unpack and settle from a long weekend away!

Today, I’m joining in a Unique Blog Hop that I was nominated for by Gail over at Home Made Memories!  I met her over at Splitcoast Stampers in the Clean and Simple (CAS) forum and we served on the CAS Challenge design team there.  She is a homeschooling mother of six, a pastor’s wife and a talented card maker!  Please be sure and go say hi on her inspiring blog!

For today’s card, I wanted to share a little snail mail themed card I’d made using Winnie & Walter stamps, a new favorite company of mine.  I stamped the simple sentiment and then popped up the snail with foam dots for some dimension.  I placed a small red heart gemstone on the center of its shell for interest.

Here is a closer look:

Another part of this hop is to answer a few questions so you can learn a little more about me, so here goes!

What are you currently working on?
I was going to start listing some of my current crafty projects, but decided I’d share a little sneak peek of something much bigger that is brewing here on the home front!  This, my friends, is what is slowly materializing in the basement:

A new craft room designed and created by my DH.  I have grand ideas for this space and am having a very hard time being patient!  Waiting is good for a person, though.  At least, that’s what I keep telling myself!  This is the framework and drywall & paint have since been added, but I have yet to take new photos!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I had to think about this a bit because I’ve never really thought too much about my personal style and compared it to others’.  I can easily pick out an individual’s style in a gallery, but haven’t ever seriously analyzed my own.  I suppose you could say I have a bit of an extreme clean and simple (CAS) design style…or would you call it the “classic” version of CAS design?  Either way, I tend to challenge myself to create the simplest designs as possible that convey a message effectively.  A little humor is often added to a design to try to evoke a smile from the card’s recipient!

What inspires your work?
This really depends on the mood I’m in on any given day!  Sometimes it’s an advertisement on a billboard I’ve seen while running errands in town.  Other times, it’s nature or simple colors.  Pinterest offers plenty of inspiration, but I prefer not to look too often there as I feel like I’m not being as original as I could be by looking at others’ work too regularly.  Just a personal thing of mine, I guess.  That’s not to say that I haven’t ever CASE’d a card I truly admire from time to time, but I like to give credit to the original creator of the design!

How does your creative process work?
Process?!  There’s a process to design?!  My process would be as follows:
1.  Brew a good strong cup of coffee and descend the basement steps to the craft room.
2.  While sipping the cup of coffee, sift through the stamp sets in my stash until something catches my eye.
3.  Grab a sheet of cardstock.  This is usually white, but kraft will sometimes win me over.
4.  Sit and stare at the chosen stamp set while brainstorming for a theme to work with in my mind, all the while continuing to sip on the cup of coffee.
5.  Wait for an “aha” moment to happen.  If none occurs, set aside the cup of coffee and just start stamping something!  This springing into action will often clear the cobwebs in my head.
6.  Arrange design elements on the card front in multiple ways until it feels like everything works together well and doesn’t violate some of the basic design rules that are floating around online.  Maybe break a few rules for good measure if it feels right at the time.
7.  Quickly exit the craft room before I over analyze what I’ve created.

I’m a bit random when it comes to designing things!  With four children and a DH, I must take advantage of crafting opportunities when they arise, usually later in the evening or when everyone is at work or school and DD is napping.  There is always the inner struggle between crafting and catching up on the never ending to do list that lurks in my planner.  As any mother knows, however, the to do list is never going to go away, so a little crafting therapy is sometimes just what one needs.

So there you have it.  A little glimpse at what makes me tick creatively.  Now it’s my turn to introduce a designer to you!  I promise you, this gal will make you smile!  It’s the one and only Kimberly Wiener, a sweet, charismatic, supportive and truly talented designer!  Please go take a look at her wonderful blog, wienerhoneymooners!  Then, be sure and stop back later this week to see who else I’ve nominated for this Unique Blog Hop!

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Melissa